We all have them. Whether we will admit to them or not.
Sometimes we can't even verbalize what they are, but they are hidden in the deep recesses of our minds.
Sometimes they are legitimate and rational and othertimes we have allowed those fears to paralyze us with worry and anxiety. It has been said that 98% of what we worry about will never happen.
What can separate our good friends from those who are categorically our BEST friends is the fact that we might feel safe enough to share our fear with someone we absolutely trust.
I have had plenty of fears throughout my life.
One fear that haunted me for years was the fear of being alone in our home when my husband needed to be away for a night or a week doing some Young Life thing.
I was so afraid that I would not be able to protect our children. I slept fitfully. The normal house noises at night would cause anxiety. I memorized Scripture and would recite it to myself in the middle of the night. I prayed and prayed that God would take this fear away. I felt embarrassed that I couldn't trust God.
I even conned a few of our male Young Life leaders to sleep over in our guest bedroom to allay my anxiety. Thanks Jack Daley and Kevin Wood for helping this scared mom out.
One day I was alone at home in the daytime and a burglar(s) tried to enter our home. I had just returned from being gone for ten days caring for my dad who had a stroke. Our van had sat unmoved in the driveway for those ten days. They must have thought it was a safe place to rob.
I immediately called 911 and crouched behind the desk frightened out of my mind. The police arrived within one minute with sirens and the would be burglars took off running.
It was then I realized that God had been with me the whole time.
What might have happened? That's a scarey thought but nothing did.
I am not naive enough to believe nothing would have happened. There are atrocities committed every single day in our world that are evil and senseless. There are evil deranged people who think harming someone or killing them is OK.
Is God there when it happens? Absolutely.
Why doesn't He stop it? I don't know.
What I do know is that He is there.
His heart breaks when our hearts break. He cries when we are hurt. He knows our pain. And He never leaves us-even if we think He isn't with us, His Word tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us.
A legitimate fear that I had occurred one day when I took our 2 labs for a walk in the forest by our house at Woodleaf. We were hiking a trail that I had been on many times with these pups. All of a sudden both dogs stopped still, the hairs on both of their bodies was raised and then in the bushes I heard lots of rumblings and deep thuds. I looked over and there were 2 bears sauntering by. I knew what could happen and managed to get out of there pronto. Some fears are very real. They warn us of impending danger. Heed those fears.
What about other fears?
Are you fearful of getting some disease? Like Cancer?
Are you fearful that even worse, one of your children will get cancer?
Are you afraid that you will never get married?
Are you afraid that you will lose your job?
Are you just fearful that someone you love will die?
Are you fearful that those you love the most will die without knowing the love of Jesus?
Are you fearful thinking that God will ask you to do something that you don't want to do?
Are you afraid you won't have enough money to pay your bills?
Afraid that you won't have enough money to pay for college?
I know those type of fears.
I remember being so afraid when I was younger that something would happen and one of my parents would die.
I was just 21 years old when my mom died unexpectedly-without any warning. I was devastated and my worst fear was realized. My life was shattered at that moment. I grieved long and hard. Eventually I learned to live and laugh and love and not be afraid of someone else I loved dying; because I knew the faithfulness of Jesus. He upheld me, comforted me and gave me strength to go on.
Perhaps you too know that faithfulness that almost defies explanation. You too have lost a parent, your beloved spouse or probably worse, your own child.
What I want you to know is that these fears we have and experience are NOT FROM GOD. They are from His enemy, the devil-who is known as the father of lies. This devil tries to fill our mind with fears and doubts and all kinds of untruth. I don't know why we fall for it, but unfortunately we do.
Another fear that stopped me in my tracks over the years was that I would deny Christ if it meant losing my life. Satan had me feel incredibly guilty and un-worthy that if a gun was put to my head-that I would deny THE ONE who had given my life its true purpose.
Finally, one day I realized that if a gun was put to my head or aimed at any other part of my body, I WOULD NOT DENY MY LORD-if I was killed, I would immediately be with Him!! Fear eliminated .
There are times when our fears really get the best of us. We need help. That is the time to get help; whether it be from a friend, a pastor or a professional counselor. It is OK to admit we need help. Our fears are not meant to de-rail our lives.
Psalm 34:4 says:
"I sought the LORD, and He answered me;
He delivered me from ALL my fears."
That is what we MUST do. We need to go to the LORD. He is the ONE who can deliver us from ALL our fears.
Nothing that is scaring you is beyond His reach. He longs for us to know that He will always be with us. Even in the worst of our moments; that we are never alone.
God's enemy uses fears to immobilize us, to cause us undo anxiety, to paralyze us from moving forward. DON'T let him.
Go to the LORD. I promise He will eventually deliver you from your fears-if only you will ask Him.